By Amadou Jadama
The spokesperson of Manding Bungbaa has pilloried regional government minister Musa Drammeh for disparaging the group’s recent “coronation” of one Amadou Kora of Basse as ‘The King of the Mandinkas”.
Minister Drammeh was not amused by the action of the group and said he did not recognise the powers its members arrogated themselves.
But Manding Bungbaa spokesman Tunko Sanneh said they do not need the approval of the minister and they have the right to form their association and promote Mandinka culture and traditions.
He stated: “There is nothing that can deflect or stop us from doing what we wish whether the minister recognises it or not. We do not understand Drammeh’s attention on our association and its activities when there are other associations with tribal and ethnic inclinations.
“All the tribes have their own associations in this country. So, if the Mandinkas also form theirs and crown a king, then why term that as unconstitutional? Let me make it very clear to him that there is no amount of threat that can stop us as we reserve rights as other groups.”
Sanneh said Minister Drammeh, a close associate of President Barrow, may view Manding Bungbaa as an association with the objective to promote a [pro-UDP] political agenda but insisted: “That is not the objective of Manding Bungbaa as it is apolitical. Our leaders have been selected because they are passionate about the promotion of Mandinka traditions and cultures in the country. Choosing Amadou Kora as the Manding king is as a result of the recognition of his sterling efforts towards that direction.”
He assured that Mandinkas will not be used to stoke up violence in the country, saying the overarching aim of the Bungbaa is to bring Mandinkas in the country and beyond, under one roof.
“Our aims and objectives are to bring all the Mandinkas, not only in The Gambia but other part of the world, as one people and to also promote and strengthen Mandinka traditions, culture and foster unity among us. There are nine to ten kafolu that came together to form this association, comprising members of the various political parties in the country,” he said.
Sanneh urged Minister Drammeh to direct his attention and energy in resolving the mounting land issues across the country than “investing his energy in trivialities”.